Publications by authors named "Alla Berezovskaya"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

JDP2: An oncogenic bZIP transcription factor in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

J Exp Med 2018 07 25;215(7):1929-1945. Epub 2018 Jun 25.

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

A substantial subset of patients with T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) develops resistance to steroids and succumbs to their disease. encodes a bZIP protein that has been implicated as a T-ALL oncogene from insertional mutagenesis studies in mice, but its role in human T-ALL pathogenesis has remained obscure. Here we show that is aberrantly expressed in a subset of T-ALL patients and is associated with poor survival. JDP2 is required for T-ALL cell survival, as its depletion by short hairpin RNA knockdown leads to apoptosis. Mechanistically, JDP2 regulates prosurvival signaling through direct transcriptional regulation of Furthermore, is one of few oncogenes capable of initiating T-ALL in transgenic zebrafish. Notably, thymocytes from transgenic zebrafish express high levels of and demonstrate resistance to steroids in vivo. These studies establish as a novel oncogene in high-risk T-ALL and implicate overexpression of as a mechanism of steroid resistance in -overexpressing cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20170484DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6028512PMC
July 2018

Anti-leukaemic activity of the TYK2 selective inhibitor NDI-031301 in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Br J Haematol 2017 04 14;177(2):271-282. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Activation of tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) contributes to the aberrant survival of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) cells. Here we demonstrate the anti-leukaemic activity of a novel TYK2 inhibitor, NDI-031301. NDI-031301 is a potent and selective inhibitor of TYK2 that induced robust growth inhibition of human T-ALL cell lines. NDI-031301 treatment of human T-ALL cell lines resulted in induction of apoptosis that was not observed with the JAK inhibitors tofacitinib and baricitinib. Further investigation revealed that NDI-031301 treatment uniquely leads to activation of three mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), resulting in phosphorylation of ERK, SAPK/JNK and p38 MAPK coincident with PARP cleavage. Activation of p38 MAPK occurred within 1 h of NDI-031301 treatment and was responsible for NDI-031301-induced T-ALL cell death, as pharmacological inhibition of p38 MAPK partially rescued apoptosis induced by TYK2 inhibitor. Finally, daily oral administration of NDI-031301 at 100 mg/kg bid to immunodeficient mice engrafted with KOPT-K1 T-ALL cells was well tolerated, and led to decreased tumour burden and a significant survival benefit. These results support selective inhibition of TYK2 as a promising potential therapeutic strategy for T-ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.14563DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5384871PMC
April 2017

Oncogene regulation. An oncogenic super-enhancer formed through somatic mutation of a noncoding intergenic element.

Science 2014 Dec 13;346(6215):1373-7. Epub 2014 Nov 13.

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Boston Children's Hospital, MA 02115, USA.

In certain human cancers, the expression of critical oncogenes is driven from large regulatory elements, called super-enhancers, that recruit much of the cell's transcriptional apparatus and are defined by extensive acetylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27ac). In a subset of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cases, we found that heterozygous somatic mutations are acquired that introduce binding motifs for the MYB transcription factor in a precise noncoding site, which creates a super-enhancer upstream of the TAL1 oncogene. MYB binds to this new site and recruits its H3K27 acetylase-binding partner CBP, as well as core components of a major leukemogenic transcriptional complex that contains RUNX1, GATA-3, and TAL1 itself. Additionally, most endogenous super-enhancers found in T-ALL cells are occupied by MYB and CBP, which suggests a general role for MYB in super-enhancer initiation. Thus, this study identifies a genetic mechanism responsible for the generation of oncogenic super-enhancers in malignant cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1259037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4720521PMC
December 2014

Targeting oncogenic interleukin-7 receptor signalling with N-acetylcysteine in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Br J Haematol 2015 Jan 26;168(2):230-8. Epub 2014 Sep 26.

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Haematology, UCL Cancer Institute, University College London, London, UK.

Activating mutations of the interleukin-7 receptor (IL7R) occur in approximately 10% of patients with T cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL). Most mutations generate a cysteine at the transmembrane domain leading to receptor homodimerization through disulfide bond formation and ligand-independent activation of STAT5. We hypothesized that the reducing agent N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a well-tolerated drug used widely in clinical practice to treat acetaminophen overdose, would reduce disulfide bond formation, and inhibit mutant IL7R-mediated oncogenic signalling. We found that treatment with NAC disrupted IL7R homodimerization in IL7R-mutant DND-41 cells as assessed by non-reducing Western blot, as well as in a luciferase complementation assay. NAC led to STAT5 dephosphorylation and cell apoptosis at clinically achievable concentrations in DND-41 cells, and Ba/F3 cells transformed by an IL7R-mutant construct containing a cysteine insertion. The apoptotic effects of NAC could be rescued in part by a constitutively active allele of STAT5. Despite using doses lower than those tolerated in humans, NAC treatment significantly inhibited the progression of human DND-41 cells engrafted in immunodeficient mice. Thus, targeting leukaemogenic IL7R homodimerization with NAC offers a potentially effective and feasible therapeutic strategy that warrants testing in patients with T-ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.13115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303513PMC
January 2015

Ex vivo expansion of human CD8+ T cells using autologous CD4+ T cell help.

PLoS One 2012 12;7(1):e30229. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Background: Using in vivo mouse models, the mechanisms of CD4+ T cell help have been intensively investigated. However, a mechanistic analysis of human CD4+ T cell help is largely lacking. Our goal was to elucidate the mechanisms of human CD4+ T cell help of CD8+ T cell proliferation using a novel in vitro model.

Methods/principal Findings: We developed a genetically engineered novel human cell-based artificial APC, aAPC/mOKT3, which expresses a membranous form of the anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody OKT3 as well as other immune accessory molecules. Without requiring the addition of allogeneic feeder cells, aAPC/mOKT3 enabled the expansion of both peripheral and tumor-infiltrating T cells, regardless of HLA-restriction. Stimulation with aAPC/mOKT3 did not expand Foxp3+ regulatory T cells, and expanded tumor infiltrating lymphocytes predominantly secreted Th1-type cytokines, interferon-γ and IL-2. In this aAPC-based system, the presence of autologous CD4+ T cells was associated with significantly improved CD8+ T cell expansion in vitro. The CD4+ T cell derived cytokines IL-2 and IL-21 were necessary but not sufficient for this effect. However, CD4+ T cell help of CD8+ T cell proliferation was partially recapitulated by both adding IL-2/IL-21 and by upregulation of IL-21 receptor on CD8+ T cells.

Conclusions: We have developed an in vitro model that advances our understanding of the immunobiology of human CD4+ T cell help of CD8+ T cells. Our data suggests that human CD4+ T cell help can be leveraged to expand CD8+ T cells in vitro.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0030229PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257268PMC
July 2012

IL-21 can supplement suboptimal Lck-independent MAPK activation in a STAT-3-dependent manner in human CD8(+) T cells.

J Immunol 2012 Feb 11;188(4):1609-19. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Although both MHC class II/CD8α double-knockout and CD8β null mice show a defect in the development of MHC class I-restricted CD8(+) T cells in the thymus, they possess low numbers of high-avidity peripheral CTL with limited clonality and are able to contain acute and chronic infections. These in vivo data suggest that the CD8 coreceptor is not absolutely necessary for the generation of Ag-specific CTL. Lack of CD8 association causes partial TCR signaling because of the absence of CD8/Lck recruitment to the proximity of the MHC/TCR complex, resulting in suboptimal MAPK activation. Therefore, there should exist a signaling mechanism that can supplement partial TCR activation caused by the lack of CD8 association. In this human study, we have shown that CD8-independent stimulation of Ag-specific CTL previously primed in the presence of CD8 coligation, either in vivo or in vitro, induced severely impaired in vitro proliferation. When naive CD8(+) T cells were primed in the absence of CD8 binding and subsequently restimulated in the presence of CD8 coligation, the proliferation of Ag-specific CTL was also severely hampered. However, when CD8-independent T cell priming and restimulation were supplemented with IL-21, Ag-specific CD8(+) CTL expanded in two of six individuals tested. We found that IL-21 rescued partial MAPK activation in a STAT3- but not STAT1-dependent manner. These results suggest that CD8 coligation is critical for the expansion of postthymic peripheral Ag-specific CTL in humans. However, STAT3-mediated IL-21 signaling can supplement partial TCR signaling caused by the lack of CD8 association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1003446DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273545PMC
February 2012

Induction of HLA-DP4-restricted anti-survivin Th1 and Th2 responses using an artificial antigen-presenting cell.

Clin Cancer Res 2011 Aug 24;17(16):5392-401. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, USA.

Purpose: In previous cancer vaccine clinical trials targeting survivin, induction of specific CD8(+) T-cell responses did not consistently lead to clinical responses. Considering the critical role of CD4(+) T-cell help in generating antitumor immunity, integration of anti-survivin CD4(+) T-cell responses may enhance the efficacy of anti-survivin cancer immunotherapy. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DP4 is emerging as an attractive MHC target allele of CD4(+) T cell-mediated immunotherapy, because it is one of the most frequent HLA alleles in many ethnic groups. In this article, we aimed to elucidate DP4-restricted CD4(+) T-cell responses against survivin in cancer patients.

Experimental Design: We generated a human cell-based artificial antigen-presenting cell (aAPC) expressing HLA-DP4, CD80, and CD83 and induced DP4-restricted antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells. The number, phenotype, effector function, and in vitro longevity of generated CD4(+) T cells were determined.

Results: We first determined previously unknown DP4-restricted CD4(+) T-cell epitopes derived from cytomegalovirus pp65, to which sustained Th1-biased recall responses were induced in vitro by using DP4-aAPC. In contrast, DP4-aAPC induced in vitro both Th1 and Th2 long-lived anti-survivin CD4(+) T cells from cancer patients. Both survivin-specific Th1 and Th2 cells were able to recognize survivin-expressing tumors in a DP4-restricted manner. Neither survivin-specific interleukin 10 secreting Tr1 cells nor Th17 cells were induced by DP4-aAPC.

Conclusions: DP4-restricted anti-survivin Th1 and Th2 immunity with sufficient functional avidity can be induced from cancer patients. The development of strategies to concurrently induce both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses against survivin is warranted for optimal anti-survivin cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-3083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156899PMC
August 2011

Establishment of antitumor memory in humans using in vitro-educated CD8+ T cells.

Sci Transl Med 2011 Apr;3(80):80ra34

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Although advanced-stage melanoma patients have a median survival of less than a year, adoptive T cell therapy can induce durable clinical responses in some patients. Successful adoptive T cell therapy to treat cancer requires engraftment of antitumor T lymphocytes that not only retain specificity and function in vivo but also display an intrinsic capacity to survive. To date, adoptively transferred antitumor CD8(+) T lymphocytes (CTLs) have had limited life spans unless the host has been manipulated. To generate CTLs that have an intrinsic capacity to persist in vivo, we developed a human artificial antigen-presenting cell system that can educate antitumor CTLs to acquire both a central memory and an effector memory phenotype as well as the capacity to survive in culture for prolonged periods of time. We examined whether antitumor CTLs generated using this system could function and persist in patients. We showed that MART1-specific CTLs, educated and expanded using our artificial antigen-presenting cell system, could survive for prolonged periods in advanced-stage melanoma patients without previous conditioning or cytokine treatment. Moreover, these CTLs trafficked to the tumor, mediated biological and clinical responses, and established antitumor immunologic memory. Therefore, this approach may broaden the availability of adoptive cell therapy to patients both alone and in combination with other therapeutic modalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.3002207DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3861895PMC
April 2011

A panel of human cell-based artificial APC enables the expansion of long-lived antigen-specific CD4+ T cells restricted by prevalent HLA-DR alleles.

Int Immunol 2010 Nov 8;22(11):863-73. Epub 2010 Nov 8.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Many preclinical experiments have attested to the critical role of CD4(+) T cell help in CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated immunity. Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that reinfusion of CD4(+) T cells can induce responses in infectious diseases and cancer. However, few standardized and versatile systems exist to expand antigen-specific CD4(+) T(h) for clinical use. K562 is a human erythroleukemic cell line, which lacks expression of HLA class I and class II, invariant chain and HLA-DM but expresses adhesion molecules such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and leukocyte function-associated antigen-3. With this unique immunologic phenotype, K562 has been tested in clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy. Previously, we created a K562-based artificial antigen-presenting cell (aAPC) that generates ex vivo long-lived HLA-A2-restricted CD8(+) CTL with a central/effector memory phenotype armed with potent effector function. We successfully generated a clinical version of this aAPC and conducted a clinical trial where large numbers of anti-tumor CTL are reinfused to cancer patients. In this article, we shifted focus to CD4(+) T cells and developed a panel of novel K562-derived aAPC, where each expresses a different single HLA-DR allele, invariant chain, HLA-DM, CD80, CD83 and CD64; takes up soluble protein by endocytosis and processes and presents CD4(+) T-cell peptides. Using this aAPC, we were able to determine novel DR-restricted CD4(+) T-cell epitopes and expand long-lived CD4(+) T-cells specific for multiple antigens without growing bystander Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells. Our results suggest that K562-based aAPC may serve as a translatable platform to generate both antigen-specific CD8(+) CTL and CD4(+) T(h).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intimm/dxq440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2994545PMC
November 2010

Dissociation of its opposing immunologic effects is critical for the optimization of antitumor CD8+ T-cell responses induced by interleukin 21.

Clin Cancer Res 2008 Oct;14(19):6125-36

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Purpose: Interleukin 21 (IL-21) is a promising new cytokine, which is undergoing clinical testing as an anticancer agent. Although IL-21 provides potent stimulation of CD8(+) T cells, it has also been suggested that IL-21 is immunosuppressive by counteracting the maturation of dendritic cells. The dissociation of these two opposing effects may enhance the utility of IL-21 as an immunotherapeutic. In this study, we used a cell-based artificial antigen-presenting cell (aAPC) lacking a functional IL-21 receptor (IL-21R) to investigate the immunostimulatory properties of IL-21.

Experimental Design: The immunosuppressive activity of IL-21 was studied using human IL-21R(+) dendritic cells. Antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells stimulated with human cell-based IL-21R(-)aAPC were used to isolate the T-cell immunostimulatory effects of IL-21. The functional outcomes, including phenotype, cytokine production, proliferation, and cytotoxicity were evaluated.

Results: IL-21 limits the immune response by maintaining immunologically immature dendritic cells. However, stimulation of CD8(+) T cells with IL-21R(-) aAPC, which secrete IL-21, results in significant expansion. Although priming in the presence of IL-21 temporarily modulated the T-cell phenotype, chronic stimulation abrogated these differences. Importantly, exposure to IL-21 during restimulation promoted the enrichment and expansion of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells that maintained IL-2 secretion and gained enhanced IFN-gamma secretion. Tumor antigen-specific CTL generated in the presence of IL-21 recognized tumor cells efficiently, demonstrating potent effector functions.

Conclusions: IL-21 induces opposing effects on antigen-presenting cells and CD8(+) T cells. Strategic application of IL-21 is required to induce optimal clinical effects and may enable the generation of large numbers of highly avid tumor-specific CTL for adoptive immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-1146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2570356PMC
October 2008

Long-lived antitumor CD8+ lymphocytes for adoptive therapy generated using an artificial antigen-presenting cell.

Clin Cancer Res 2007 Mar;13(6):1857-67

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Purpose: Antitumor lymphocytes can be generated ex vivo unencumbered by immunoregulation found in vivo. Adoptive transfer of these cells is a promising therapeutic modality that could establish long-term antitumor immunity. However, the widespread use of adoptive therapy has been hampered by the difficulty of consistently generating potent antitumor lymphocytes in a timely manner for every patient. To overcome this, we sought to establish a clinical grade culture system that can reproducibly generate antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL).

Experimental Design: We created an off-the-shelf, standardized, and renewable artificial antigen-presenting cell (aAPC) line that coexpresses HLA class I, CD54, CD58, CD80, and the dendritic cell maturation marker CD83. We tested the ability of aAPC to generate tumor antigen-specific CTL under optimal culture conditions. The number, phenotype, effector function, and in vitro longevity of generated CTL were determined.

Results: Stimulation of CD8(+) T cells with peptide-pulsed aAPC generated large numbers of functional CTL that recognized a variety of tumor antigens. These CTLs, which possess a phenotype consistent with in vivo persistence, survived ex vivo for prolonged periods of time. Clinical grade aAPC(33), produced under current Good Manufacturing Practices guidelines, generated sufficient numbers of CTL within a short period of time. These CTL specifically lysed a variety of melanoma tumor lines naturally expressing a target melanoma antigen. Furthermore, antitumor CTL were easily generated in all melanoma patients examined.

Conclusions: With clinical grade aAPC(33) in hand, we are now poised for clinical translation of ex vivo generated antitumor CTL for adoptive cell transfer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-06-1905DOI Listing
March 2007

Twisted gastrulation (Tsg) is regulated by Tob and enhances TGF-beta signaling in activated T lymphocytes.

Blood 2007 Apr;109(7):2944-52

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Quiescent T cells express Tob, an APRO gene family member, which functions as a transcriptional regulator. Subtractive hybridization identified Twisted gastrulation (Tsg) as one of the genes suppressed by Tob. Tsg is a secreted protein that interacts with Drosophila decapentaplegic (Dpp) and its vertebrate orthologs BMP2/4 and regulates morphogenetic effects in embryos. Here, we report the expression and function of Tsg in human T cells. Tsg mRNA was almost undetectable in unstimulated T cells and was up-regulated after activation by TCR/CD3 and either CD28, IL-2, or PMA. Tsg protein had no effect on responses of primary T cells to TCR/CD3 stimulation but had a potent inhibitory effect on proliferation and cytokine production of primed alloreactive CD4+ cells. Surprisingly, Tsg did not affect phosphorylation of the BMP-specific Smad1 but induced phosphorylation of the TGF-beta-specific Smad2 and mediated DNA binding on Smad3/4 consensus-binding sites, suggesting that it acted downstream of TGF-beta. In vitro association assays revealed a direct interaction of Tsg and TGF-beta proteins. Thus, Tsg functions as an agonist synergizing with TGF-beta to inhibit T-cell activation. Modulation of Tsg signaling may represent a novel target for molecular intervention toward control of aberrant T-cell responses during ongoing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and autoimmune diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2006-03-006510DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1852213PMC
April 2007

A pathway regulated by cell cycle inhibitor p27Kip1 and checkpoint inhibitor Smad3 is involved in the induction of T cell tolerance.

Nat Immunol 2006 Nov 1;7(11):1157-65. Epub 2006 Oct 1.

Transplantation Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02129, USA.

Peripheral tolerance is essential for immunological homeostasis. Tolerant T cells are thought to arise after T cell receptor ligation in conditions that are nonpermissive for replication. Here we have investigated the function of the cell cycle inhibitor p27(Kip1) in tolerance induction in vivo using naive T cell receptor-transgenic cells lacking the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk)-binding domain of p27(Kip1)(p27delta). Wild-type but not p27delta cells underwent tolerization. Tolerized wild-type cells had impaired Cdk2 and Cdc2 kinase activity and failed to phosphorylate the checkpoint inhibitor Smad3, leading to enhanced expression of the Cdk inhibitor p15. In contrast, p27delta cells proliferated in tolerizing conditions because of Cdk kinase activation and phosphorylation of Smad3, which resulted in no upregulation of p15. Smad3 'knockdown' prevented tolerance induction, whereas expression of a Smad3 mutant resistant to Cdk-mediated phosphorylation recapitulated molecular and functional events of tolerance. Thus, p27(Kip1) is required during induction of tolerance and Smad3 regulates T cell responses 'downstream' of p27(Kip1).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ni1398DOI Listing
November 2006

Identification of an immunogenic CD8+ T-cell epitope derived from gamma-globin, a putative tumor-associated antigen for juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.

Blood 2006 Oct 15;108(8):2662-8. Epub 2006 Jun 15.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a rare clonal myeloproliferative disorder. Although allogeneic stem cell transplantation can induce long-term remissions, relapse rates remain high and innovative approaches are needed. Since donor lymphocyte infusions have clinical activity in JMML, T-cell-mediated immunotherapy could provide a nonredundant treatment approach to compliment current therapies. Gamma-globin, an oncofetal protein overexpressed by clonogenic JMML cells, may serve as a target of an antitumor immune response. We predicted 5 gamma-globin-derived peptides as potential human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A2 restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes and showed that 4 (g031, g071, g105, and g106) bind A2 molecules in vitro. Using an artificial antigen-presenting cell (aAPC) that can process both the N- and C-termini of endogenously expressed proteins, we biochemically confirmed that g105 is naturally processed and presented by cell surface A2. Furthermore, g105-specific CD8(+) CTLs generated from A2-positive healthy donors were able to specifically cytolyze gamma-globin(+), but not gamma-globin(-) JMML cells in an A2-restricted manner. These results suggest that this aAPC-based approach enables the biochemical identification of CD8(+) T-cell epitopes that are processed and presented by intact cells, and that CTL immunotherapy of JMML could be directed against the gamma-globin-derived epitope g105.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2006-04-017566DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1895581PMC
October 2006

Efficient presentation of naturally processed HLA class I peptides by artificial antigen-presenting cells for the generation of effective antitumor responses.

Clin Cancer Res 2006 May;12(10):2967-75

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Appropriate presentation of tumor-associated antigens (TAA) by antigen-presenting cells (APC) is required for the development of clinically relevant antitumor T-cell responses. One common approach, which uses APC pulsed with synthetic peptides, can sometimes generate ineffective immune responses. This failure may, in part, be attributed to the formation of HLA/synthetic pulsed peptide complexes that possess different conformations compared with those of endogenously presented peptides. In addition, endogenous peptides may undergo post-translational modifications, which do not occur with synthetic peptides. Because our goal is to induce immunity that can recognize TAA that are endogenously presented by tumors, we designed an APC that would not only express the required immunoaccessory molecules but also naturally process and present target antigenic peptides. In this study, we generated an artificial APC (aAPC) that can endogenously present any chosen HLA-A*0201 (A2)-restricted peptide by processing a fusion protein that contains a unique "LTK" sequence linked to the antigenic peptide. Proteasome-dependent processing is so effective that the presented peptide can be directly eluted from the cell surface and identified by biochemical methods. Furthermore, we found that aAPC, engineered to endogenously present peptide derived from the melanoma antigen MART1, can be used to prime and expand antitumor CTL that target MART1-expressing tumor cells in a HLA-A2-restricted manner. Our engineered aAPC could serve as an "off-the-shelf" APC designed to constitutively express class I-restricted TAA peptides and could be used to generate effective T-cell responses to treat human disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-05-2791DOI Listing
May 2006

Rap1-GTP is a negative regulator of Th cell function and promotes the generation of CD4+CD103+ regulatory T cells in vivo.

J Immunol 2005 Sep;175(5):3133-9

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

The small GTPase Rap1 is transiently activated during TCR ligation and regulates integrin-mediated adhesion. To understand the in vivo functions of Rap1 in regulating T cell immune responses, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice, which express the active GTP-bound mutant Rap1E63 in their T lymphocytes. Although Rap1E63-Tg T cells exhibited increased LFA-1-mediated adhesion, ERK1/2 activation and proliferation of Rap1E63-Tg CD4+ T cells were defective. Rap1E63-Tg T cells primed in vivo and restimulated with specific Ag in vitro, exhibited reduced proliferation and produced reduced levels of IL-2. Rap1E63-Tg mice had severely deficient T cell-dependent B cell responses, as determined by impaired Ig class switching. Rap1E63-Tg mice had an increased fraction of CD4+CD103+ regulatory T cells (Treg), which exhibited enhanced suppressive efficiency as compared with CD4+CD103+ Treg from normal littermate control mice. Depletion of CD103+ Treg significantly restored the impaired responses of Rap1E63-Tg CD4+ T cells. Thus Rap1-GTP is a negative regulator of Th cell responses and one mechanism responsible for this effect involves the increase of CD103+ Treg cell fraction. Our results show that Rap1-GTP promotes the generation of CD103+ Treg and may have significant implications in the development of strategies for in vitro generation of Treg for the purpose of novel immunotherapeutic approaches geared toward tolerance induction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.175.5.3133DOI Listing
September 2005

RIAM, an Ena/VASP and Profilin ligand, interacts with Rap1-GTP and mediates Rap1-induced adhesion.

Dev Cell 2004 Oct;7(4):585-95

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

The small GTPase Rap1 induces integrin-mediated adhesion and changes in the actin cytoskeleton. The mechanisms that mediate these effects of Rap1 are poorly understood. We have identified RIAM as a Rap1-GTP-interacting adaptor molecule. RIAM defines a family of adaptor molecules that contain a RA-like (Ras association) domain, a PH (pleckstrin homology) domain, and various proline-rich motifs. RIAM also interacts with Profilin and Ena/VASP proteins, molecules that regulate actin dynamics. Overexpression of RIAM induced cell spreading and lamellipodia formation, changes that require actin polymerization. In contrast, RIAM knockdown cells had reduced content of polymerized actin. RIAM overexpression also induced integrin activation and cell adhesion. RIAM knockdown displaced Rap1-GTP from the plasma membrane and abrogated Rap1-induced adhesion. Thus, RIAM links Rap1 to integrin activation and plays a role in regulating actin dynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2004.07.021DOI Listing
October 2004

Differential localization and function of ADP-ribosylation factor-6 in anergic human T cells: a potential marker for their identification.

J Immunol 2003 Aug;171(4):1691-6

Department of Adult Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Division of Medical Oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Anergy is a state of immunologic tolerance in which T cells are viable but incapable of responding to antigenic stimulation. Recent data indicate that anergic cells have a distinct gene expression program that determines their unique function. In this study we show that anergic human T cells selectively express the small GTPase ADP-ribosylation factor-6 (ARF6), which is involved in membrane traffic and regulation of the cortical actin cytoskeleton. ARF6 was expressed in the GTP-bound form that localizes at the plasma membrane, resulting in a distinct morphologic appearance of anergic cells. Forced expression of ARF6-GTP in Jurkat T cells prevented TCR-mediated reorganization of cortical actin, extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 activation, and IL-2 transcription. Forced expression of ARF6-GTP in primary human T cells inhibited extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 activation and proliferative responses. Importantly, T cells with the distribution pattern of ARF6-GTP were detected in peripheral blood, suggesting that anergic T cells may constitutively exist in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.171.4.1691DOI Listing
August 2003

Blockade of B7/CD28 in mixed lymphocyte reaction cultures results in the generation of alternatively activated macrophages, which suppress T-cell responses.

Blood 2002 Feb;99(4):1465-73

Department of Adult Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the Division of Medical Oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Blockade of B7/CD28 costimulation allows human haploidentical bone marrow transplantation without graft-versus-host disease. This study shows that blockade of B7/CD28 in anergizing mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells results in the generation of alternatively activated macrophages (AAMphi). In contrast, priming MLR cultures result in generation of classically activated macrophages (CAMphi). AAMphi had enhanced expression of CD14, major histocompatibility complex class II, and CD23; produced alternative macrophage activation-associated CC-chemokine 1 (AMAC-1) chemokine; and displayed increased phagocytotic activity but decreased ability for antigen presentation. Suppression subtractive hybridization revealed that although AAMphi had undergone terminal maturation and differentiation, they entered a distinct gene expression program as compared with CAMphi and selectively expressed beta2-microglobulin, lysozyme, ferritin heavy and light chain, and the scavenger receptors macrophage mannose receptor and sortilin. Anergic T cells isolated from cultures that led to the development of AAMphi produced low amounts of interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, and interferon-gamma, but high amounts of IL-10. Addition of anti-IL-10 neutralizing monoclonal antibody in anergizing cultures reversed the functional characteristics of AAMphi, indicating that at least one mechanism involved in the generation of AAMphi was mediated by IL-10. Importantly, when added in MLR cultures, AAMphi suppressed T-cell responses. Therefore, besides direct inhibition of T-cell costimulation, blockade of B7/CD28 may facilitate induction of T-cell unresponsiveness by generating AAMphi. Because in healthy individuals, AAMphi are found in the placenta and lung, where they protect from unwanted immune reactivity, the results suggest that AAMphi may play a critical role in the induction of transplantation tolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.v99.4.1465DOI Listing
February 2002